Saturday, May 8, 2021

Book Review: "How Lucky" by Will Leitch

Will Leitch's new novel, How Lucky, is an utterly unforgettable, beautiful book about hope, friendship, and survival.

If you were to look at Daniel, you’d assume he was miserable. Since childhood he’s lived with a degenerative disease that has confined him to a wheelchair, mostly unable to speak, and he knows ultimately that this will be his death sentence.

But while Daniel may not be living the kind of life people envy, he has a full life. He has friends and a strong support system of people who care about him, a job for a regional airline, and living in Athens, Georgia, he loves to experience the jubilation of college football and how it transforms everything.

“Real life, mercifully, isn’t a thriller. Those things don’t happen to you, and they don’t happen to me. My life is nothing but small moments, and so is yours. We don’t live in a series of plot points. We should be thankful for that. We should realize how lucky we are.”

One morning Daniel sees a young woman walking down the street past his house. She does this every day. But on this day he sees her get into a car, and the next day he hears she has gone missing.

What could have happened to this woman? Daniel wants to tell the police what he knows, but will they believe someone like him? What Daniel doesn’t realize is he’ll set a chain of events in motion which could threaten his life—but he’d probably do it anyway for the sake of the young woman.

How Lucky is suspenseful, uplifting, funny, poignant, and utterly charming. It has elements of Rear Window but it’s a story all its own, with one of the most engaging and wonderful protagonists I’ve ever seen. It makes you think, it’ll make you smile, and if you’re like me, you’ll probably tear up.

Leitch did such a great job creating these characters and definitely did his research on what it's like to live with a disability like Daniel's. And extra points for commentary on the fact Glenn Close STILL hasn’t won an Oscar!!

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